Childbirth Part VI  Nursing, circumcision and sleep!

Childbirth.

My wife, Shary, is a voracious reader and a maven, that is, someone who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. So, when it came to our first child, Shary inhaled child rearing information like a tornado inhales mobile homes. In all the reading she did, she kept coming across fantastic claims for the practice of nursing. She then force-fed me everything she had learned. When she was finished, I  believed babies who were nursed would have super powers. She also convinced me that if she did not nurse Leslie, our precious baby would be lucky to survive childhood.

Another thing she taught me, was that nipples on baby bottles and pacifiers, were of the devil and would deform our Leslie’s little mouth. This would mean large sums of money would have to be spent on speech therapy before Leslie could enter school. So, my wife had the only equipment approved for our baby and thus were the only safe alternatives for Leslie’s food intake and nursing needs.

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Well, it wasn’t but a few days after  childbirth and Shary had been nursed raw.

Leslie cried day and night!

Leslie was crying day and night, my need for a child with super powers was fading rapidly and replaced with the need for survival… OK, Shary’s need for survival too. One sleepless night my finger had been sucked raw after Shary gave up. I was so desperate, I made a pacifier from a wine bottle cork, proving necessity is the mother of invention. It was like some kind of cruel torture, I would have done anything to stop the crying. And it is not just any cry, each baby has a cry that is specifically designed to vibrate their parent’s spinal columns, starting at the base of the brain. That cry is more effective at reducing humans to a pathetically compliant state than water boarding.

childbirth, sleep
Typical scene, Chris and baby exhausted, crashed out in the middle of the day.

After a few weeks without sleep, in the middle of the night, Shary broke. My beautiful intelligent loving wife was just sitting up in bed mumbling strange things to herself, when she turned to me and said, “I’m not nursing anymore, go get formula”. But it was the way she said it and the look in her eyes. That look says, “if you know what is good for you, you will obey me.” I carefully got out of bed and went directly to a Seven Eleven store and bought formula. I was so tired I felt like a zombie. It seems like it took hours to heat up the formula and feed it to Leslie, I feel tired just remembering it.

The next morning I begged Shary to reconsider, I still wanted Leslie to live. I also did not want to heat up formula in the middle of the night again ever. Shary found a pediatrician who supported her decision to nurse and directed her to LaLache League International, an organization devoted to helping mothers nurse their babies.

What are the real benefits to babies who are nursed?

 It’s  almost as good as Shary told me. God’s food for babies is and always has been, mothers milk. Man’s attempt to improve on mother’s milk has failed miserably time after time. Each mother’s milk is specifically designed for her baby, with antibodies that help her baby fight diseases that are found only in their environment. The nutrition and the nurturing that takes place during nursing too has phenomenal benefits.

  • A new long range study finds children who were breastfed for at least 12  after childbirth went on to have higher IQ scores as adults.
  • They completed more schooling.
  • They earned higher salaries.
  • According to researchers, children who are breastfed tend to enjoy a number of other health benefits. They are less likely to suffer from a variety of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections
  • There less likely to suffer from asthma,
  • They have a much lower rate of diabetes
  • Studies have also shown they have better thinking and memory skills and score higher on cognitive, language and motor development tests as toddlers.[2]
  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome kills approximately 2500 US babies each year. A new analysis of past studies has strengthened the theory that breastfeeding reduces health risks – and could prevent SIDS also known as crib death.[4]
  • Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat — everything your baby needs to grow. And it’s all provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula and much easier to prepare.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having allergies.[5]

What are the real benefits to mothers who nurse?

 Once again, God’s plan for mothers and babies is flawless. The benefits of breastfeeding to mothers is equally impressive.

  • Much lower chances of developing breast cancer. Mothers who breast feed all their babies at least one year after childbirth, reduce their chances of breast cancer by 91%.
  • Much lower chances of developing ovarian cancer.
  • Much lower chances of developing uterine cancer.
  • Lowers risks of hypertension.
  • Lowers risk of osteoporosis.
  • Some studies have found that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Mothers who breast feed lose weigh faster after pregnancy.
  • Exclusively breastfeeding, will delay ovulation, which means you get a menstruation vacation.
  • Exclusively breast feeding a baby has proved to be 98-99% effective as a birth control method which is better than condoms.
  • According to a study published in the journal of Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.
  • Another study showed that the low rates of breast-feeding (26%) cost society $17.4 billion from maternal deaths before the age of 70.[1]
  • It is cheaper; according to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year! [6][7]

 How important is it for Dad’s to support their nursing spouse?

Studies have shown that, if dad is not supportive, it is almost impossible for mom to continue the practice of breastfeeding. A supportive spouse is vital to successful breast feeding. It is one of the most important and beneficial things a dad can do for his wife and child.

Ephiesians 5:28-29     In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.

 

Childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep, circumcision
Chris and baby passed out from exhaustion in the middle of the day.

How can I avoid the sleep deprivation of a new baby?

I get it, the misery of sleep deprivation after childbirth is real. Some of the greatest days of my life were when each of our children slept all night for the first time! Those mornings were hallelujah mornings, praising God from who all blessings flow! So here are some simple rules we discovered that helped us survive new babies.

Don’t try to get work done when the baby is sleeping.

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. All the other things will eventually get done, and if they don’t, the world won’t come to an end. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will be hoping for the end of the world. Things eventually get back to normal. Remember you are a better parent, spouse, person if you are not sleep deprived.
  • Don’t try to keep your house super quiet. Let the baby learn to slept with white noise. If it is too quiet, any noise will wake them up. You will then start blame each other for making a noise that wakes the baby, which could start world war three, no joke. Medium loud music, fans, radio, anything that would hide noises you or your family might make will help you survive.
  • Babies get crazy too if they don’t get enough sleep. Believe it or not they don’t always know what is best for them. If your baby is crying and you know they need to take a nap, check their needs list first, (have they had enough to eat, have they been burped, are their diapers clean and dry, have they had enough love?) If all those things are good, then put them in their crib and turn on a long-playing music box and let them cry themselves to sleep. Again, they need to sleep too and if you keep picking them up and playing with them, some babies won’t sleep, which creates a viscous cycle of crying. Shary says if they are still crying after the 15-minute music box stops, go back and check their needs list again.
  • Remember you are always training them. If you pick them up everytime they cry, you are teaching them to cry. Shary says to wait till they take a breath and aren’t crying, then rush in and pick them up. By doing this you are training them to be nice to you if they want to be picked up.

Circumcision is it necessary?

“Outdated staple of American medicine”

“The most unneeded surgery of all”

“Legalistic and opposed to grace”

These are just a few of the criticisms leveled at the Biblical practice of circumcision.   Its opponents are notable and numerous.  Among them are the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology), and even some theologians and pastors.

The questions then must be asked are, “why do we circumcise?” and “where did we get the idea in the first place?”  Believe it or not, it was God’s idea.  The creator of our bodies said in

Genesis 17:12…

“And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations”

It seems natural to assume that the one who created us would know what our bodies needed.  Some tell us that if boys are taught proper hygiene, there is no need for circumcision.  This is, at the outset, an admission that without circumcision there is a hygiene problem.  Man’s answer to this problem is frequent cleaning.  God’s answer is to remove the hiding place for bacteria.

Shary had a long-standing disagreement with a former physician and friend.

He was openly opposed to our opinion about circumcision.  During childbirth with our fourth, Nathan, we noticed he was uncharacteristically pushy and seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere.  Since we don’t believe in rushing the birth of our children, and he believed the same, we queried him on his unusual behavior.  He reluctantly admitted that he needed to get back to his office because a very uncomfortable 35-year-old patient was waiting there to be circumcised, presumably because some bacteria had gotten into that tender area and he couldn’t get rid of it.

One anti-circumcision report stated, “No valid medical indications exist for circumcision in the neonatal period.”  It is interesting that they did not mention the mid-life period.  In the United States, prior to World War I, it was not the standard practice to circumcise newborns.  During the war, however, many uncircumcised soldiers “in the trenches” developed a painful inflammation of the foreskin called phimosis.  This condition required emergency dorsal slits, followed by circumcision.  It was the opinion of these men that their sons should never have to experience what they had suffered.  Because of their experiences and similar experiences of men during World War II, circumcision of newborns rapidly became the standard practice throughout our nation.

Romans 3:1 & 2 “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?  Much in every way!  First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.”

Why didn’t God make it right in the first place?

The question arises, “Why didn’t God make it right in the first place?”  To answer that question, we need to recognize that when God created the first man, there was no sin, no sickness, and no need for circumcision.  Since we live in a sinful, disease laden world, can we guarantee that our boys will, at all times, live under circumstances where proper genital hygiene is possible?

Some Critics

Some critics point to the “significant complications” occurring in one of every 500 babies circumcised as a reason for not circumcising.  In our country, many babies are circumcised at childbirth, in the delivery room, and most are circumcised within the first couple of days (prior to hospital discharge).  God commands that circumcisions were to be done on the eighth day of life.  In Israel, where God’s instructions concerning the eighth day are generally followed, complications are almost unheard of, so why is that?

It is widely recognized that the two most important blood clotting factors, vitamin K and prothrombin, are at their highest concentration eight days after birth.  (These levels are approximately 10% higher on this day than at any other point in life.)  Modern medicine has just figured this out.  But 4000 years ago, God said, He that is eight days old shall be circumcised.

Isn’t Circumcision opposed to the teachings of the Bible?

And what about the clergymen who say, “circumcision is part of the Law of Moses and has been done away with”?  And “if anyone follows the law, he has fallen from grace”.  God gave circumcision to Abraham before the law.  Circumcision was also included in the law.  Romans 7:12 says “the law and the commandments are good.”  It is wrong to try and use the law to gain salvation: but to follow the law is good and pleasing to the Lord.  For the law states “Love the Lord…honor thy father and thy mother…thou shalt not steal.”  If circumcision is to be disregarded because it is part of the law, then these other commands must also be disregarded.

In Deuteronomy 30:6, God says he will circumcise our heart.  Circumcision of the body is an example of what God wants to do to our heart.  God wants to circumcise our hearts so that we won’t need the never-ending cleansing from sin with its temporary results.  He wants to circumcise our hearts so that the job is done once-for-all and so no sin can hide and fester there.  If we believe the AAP, the ACOG, and other anti-circumcision voices, then we are saying that God used a poor example.

If we say that physical circumcision has no value, then the spiritual circumcision it portrays would be equally valueless. 

It is our belief that if we avail our children of the physical circumcision that God recommended to us, and we avail our children and ourselves of the spiritual circumcision that he has provided for us, we will have honored the God who came that we might have life and have it abundantly.

Is there any Science to back up the practice of circumcision?

In his classic book None Of These Diseases S.I. McMillen points out that cancer and venereal disease is much higher in uncircumcised men and their wives than men who are circumcised. Yes you heard that right women who marry circumcised men are less likely to be infected. It is much easier for men to keep themselves clean if they are circumcised.

childbirth, circumcision

In the 80’s Shary and I attended an International Childbirth Convention in Seattle Washington. During a special session on circumcision, some young doctors began ridiculing the “superstitious, unnecessary, and dangerous practice of circumcision.”  I mentioned that our doctor had been of the same persuasion, and had given us a bit of a bad time about our decision to circumcise, until the day he had to do a circumcision on a grown man and realized that maybe it wasn’t such a useless procedure after all.

As soon as I had made my comments, the room exploded. 

Nurses, who had seen countless similar situations first hand, voiced their opinions.  The brash and haughty doctors who had been ridiculing the Bible and anyone who practiced circumcision were embarrassed and humiliated by older nurses who had witnessed the pain and suffering of uncircumcised men during time of war or distress when it was difficult to maintain a normal cleansing routine.

According to McMillan, there have been approximately 50 studies that show circumcision protects against many different STDs and circumcision has a 2-10 fold protection against HIV.  In the U.S. circumcision prevents more than ten thousand infant urinary tract infections per year.  If not circumcised, those infections would kill 200 of those boys each year.

Our heavenly father has given us instructions in the Bible that can greatly reduce our chances of infections if only we will obey.  When the Bible says that some things are clean and others are unclean, it is not superstition.  As human beings, we often want to know all the reasons why, before we are willing to obey God’s word.   Jesus said in…

John 7:17

If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”

Jesus is asking us to obey him before we get all the answers, then we will find out that his words are the very words of God our maker.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written; “He catches the wise in their craftiness” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

 If you believe God knows best, join us and the Wellness Gospel team; register for our weekly newsletter, then spread the word by sharing this with your friends on social media and may God bless you richly.

 

Childbirth series

I       Nutrition

II     Nutrition and exercises for a more comfortable pregnancy and bir

III    First stage, what you believe about birth will determine how it goes.

IV    Transition

V      Second stage and post-partum.

VI    Breastfeeding, sleeping and circumcision,

VII  The V approach to raising kids.

 

Our purpose for writing each week is to provide you with Biblical/scientific advice on the care and feeding of your body.  We do it because this advice is so rare. We also do it, because we see thousands of good Christians, whose lives have been cut short, simply because they were never taught what the Word of God and the Law of God had to say about health and wellness.

 

If you want to keep improving your health, and enjoy this kind of biblical scientific information, then I would like to recommend three must-read books;

  1. “God’s Guide to Biblical Health and Healing” by Rev. Chris and Shary Schauermann                           http://tinyurl.com/zvkbfau
  1. “Let’s Play Doctor” by Dr. Joel Wallach                                                                                                             http://tinyurl.com/j8ybt8r 
  1. “None of These Diseases” by S.I. McMillen, M.D. and David E. Stern, M. D.                                           http://tinyurl.com/hh7ezs2

4.”Husband Coached Childbirth” by Doctor Robert Bradley & Marjory Hathaway                                        https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=husband+coached+childbirth&sprefix=husband+coache%2Caps%2C314&crid=1UFTVMXOML1BS

      

You can get all these books at Amazon.com or simply click on the URL under each book title.

 

References

  1. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/more-breast-feeding-could-lower-breast-cancer-rates-by-thousands/
  2. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/breastfeeding-benefits-higher-iq-education-income-in-adulthood/
  3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2003219/Breastfeeding-lowers-risk-sudden-infant-death-syndrome.html
  4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2003219/Breastfeeding-lowers-risk-sudden-infant-death-
  5. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1
  6. https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/20-breastfeeding-benefits-mom-baby
  7. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding-for-Mom.aspx

 

 

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